Well Scraphenge is “done and hung“! I received it back from the longarm quilter last week (I used Missouri Star Quilting Company longarm quilting services).
I decided instead of a binding to put a “facing” on the quilt since I was going to hang it on the wall:
Instead of the cumbersome method I’ve used to put a facing on in the past, which I learned from an art quilting book, I searched YouTube to see if there was an easier method and voilà I found one:
And it worked perfectly! It was much easier than the previous method I was using!
So here is the quilt hung in the hallway next to the entryway to our home. I took a couple different photos as due to the stairways to upstairs and the basement it was challenging to photograph the quilt straight on:
Here is a close up of the quilting:
I love seeing the quilt as I descend the stairs from upstairs to the main floor:
The cool thing about this quilt is most of the quilt top is made from Stonehenge fabric scraps that friends have given me and some Stonehenge fabric scraps I had from a quilt I made. So the quilt top was primarily made from stuff that would have ended up in a landfill. I LOVE SCRAP QUILTS!
My sewing “mojo” was hiding somewhere for a while and I had little desire to sew. I had a “sewing-block“. Turns out the best way to resolve it was to sew a block!
I’ve been distracted from time in my sewing studio by some recent travel, visits from out of town friends, and a couple challenging recent life events. A couple days ago I knew I needed to get my back to sewing (as there is just so much fun stuff to be made) and decided returning to working on my Tula Pink City Sampler (100 Modern Quilt Blocks)would be a good place to start.
This post continues my series of posts on my trip to Quilt Town, USA to attend a Missouri Star Quilt Company (also known as “MSQC”) quilt retreat with my long time quilting friends. The previous three previous posts in the series are:
First of all, do not judge. I have a fetish for fabric scraps – ha! Okay that sounds a wee bit weird, but I would rather make things from fabric scraps than cut into yardage. I only buy fabric by the yard when I absolutely have to or the fabric is so amazing I cannot leave it in the shop (and it looks at me with puppy eyes saying “Tierney take me home…”).
So when I heard that while I was at the MSQC week long retreat there was a “Scrap Bag Sale” at the Penny’s Quilt Shop I shivered with excitement.
This not my first rodeo as they say, I’ve been to lots of fabric scrap sales where you fill a bag for a specific price, with as much fabric scraps as you can fit in (and yeah, I am ALWAYS up to the challenge to see how much I can fit in the bag they provide without it breaking).
But, I’ve NEVER been to a “scrap bag” sale where 1 yard, 2 yard, and even 3 yard pieces are considered scraps!!! Yes there were a couple pieces here and there that you might call “scraps” – like quarter and half yard pieces, but most of what was in their bins were larger pieces that I definitely would not classify as “scraps”.
What I heard from another quilter during the feeding frenzy (photo below) was that Missouri Star will pull pieces off the bolt that are 3 yards or less and put them away for the scrap sale.
What you are about to see was what could be considered a “super spreader event” as no one was wearing masks, but luckily the pandemic is tapering down in my part of the world.
Here is the FEEDING FRENZY:
And yes I was right in the middle of it. I stepped out to take photos.
Actually everyone was so patient, thoughtful and kind. It was the nicest frenzy you could imagine. Quilters would yell out what they were looking for and we would pull for them and toss to them what they were looking for. I got so much Kaffe Fassett fabric this way from the bins.
Also people would take a break from being in the bins and make way for other quilters waiting in queue. Actually you had to take a break for a while as it was sort of exhausting sifting through all those yard pieces of fabric and a bit claustrophobic.
You also needed a break to stuff your bag!
Besides finding AMAZING top quality quilting fabric (of like every fabric line you could imagine) one of the most fun parts of the whole experience was laughing with everyone there as you tried to stuff your bag as full as possible.
Here were the early stages of packing bags with “scraps”:
Notice how no fabric is reaching over the top of the bags.
Here is my pile of bags starting to grow (I did stop at 4 but later got one more) as I left them among the pile of coats (it was getting warm from all those people foraging through all those bins of fabric):
Then we heard that the shop did not really care how full you got the bag as long as all fabric was “touching” the inside of the bag. So things got creative…
Here are a series of photos on my quilting friends and I engaging in “creative scrap bag stuffing“:
We were laughing so hard! It got to be a real game of “what else can we fit in there?“
Here are a couple of my long time quilting friends and I resting after our scrap foraging. We were exhausted but happy! (Note, not all our group attended the scrap sale, some were back at the Retreat Center being productive working on their projects!)
And here I am with another expression of “pure joy” like in the previous post (and note it was not just because of the amazing deals but that I was hanging out with friends, lol):
When we returned to the Retreat Center, Jessica, one of the Retreat Coordinators, challenged us to see how much yardage we had inside one of our bags.
One person had 27 yards of fabric inside ONE of their scraps bag. Yes that was 27 yards of fabric for $10.95! Most people had between 20 and 26 yards of fabric packed into ONE scrap bag.
One of the attendees actually ironed and folded her finds (show off, ha!):
I did not. I took all my scraps from the sale to the Main Shop for packaging up to send home to me! As I mentioned in the first post in this series (I think), MSQC will ship whatever you bought or worked on for FREE to you if you are attending a retreat so you don’t have to figure out how to get it home. (Yes they are encouraging attendees to shop to their heart’s content).
So, a couple days after I returned home from the retreat I received two boxes in the mail:
And here are the “scraps” I got from the sale:
I won’t tell you the total amount of fabric, because I did not even count the yardage.
I just ironed the fabric and incorporated it into my stash…while giggling…
Okay time to take a break from “tierneytravels” and get back to “tierneycreates” (smile).
It only took like a year+ but I’ve finally finished hand quilting a lap sized free form log cabin quilt I started back in January 2020 at a quilting retreat which I named “Seattle Scrappy”. Now I need your help to decide which fabric to use for the quilt binding.
I know crafters are opinionated and like helping other crafters with their design, so I am looking for your opinions.
But firsthere is a little quick background on the piece and some additional photos.
In January 2020 (before the pandemic was a reality) I attended a mini quilt retreat with a couple quilting friends in Poulsbo, Washington. I brought a couple hand work projects and had EVERY INTENTION of only working on my hand work projects. But, my dear quilting friend Dana brought an extra sewing machine (one her her Berninas, and I love Berninas) and a BAG OF GRAY FABRIC SCRAPS for me to play with – oh no!
Out of that bag of scraps came a whole lots of free form pieces log cabin blocks and you can read about those in this post – What’s on the…Design Carpet.
Since February 2020 I’ve had a series of posts on the evolution of this quilt:
I’ve had an update or two on my @tierneycreates Instagram feed since these posts but basically I’ve just been plugging along (when I remember to work on it) hand stitching it with perle/pearl cotton thread.
Last night I finally finished stitching it; and this morning I trimmed off the extra batting on the edges!
I didn’t have the best light when I quickly took these photos this morning, but they give you a general idea of the hand quilted quilt.
Now it’s time to choose the binding (this is where you come in) and here are the four options I am considering:
As you can see they are all some shade of gray. You might be thinking: “Well Tierney, what about the turquoise, aqua, or the burnt orange in the piece?” I did think about those for a moment but first of all I do not have enough of any of those fabrics to create a binding; and second I do not want to frame it in a strong color. I want to frame it in a gray.
So here are the four gray fabrics up close up against the quilt for you to select from when you share your thoughts:
A – fabric with faux stitching pattern
B – medium-dark gray fabric
C– medium gray fabric
D – variegated gray fabric (the tone/shade of gray will change along the binding
Here is a poll below for you to vote and I will report back on the result of the poll and my final decision (which will likely be heavily influenced by your votes):
****If you’d like to participate in voting/respond to the poll, you have to go to my actual website. It will not show in the WordPress Reader, sorry (thanks @tammiepainter for making me aware). If you are in the WP Reader, click on “Visit Site”.****
I’d appreciate any additional thoughts you have in addition to your vote in the Comments section of this post.
Please note however, I will only tally votes through the poll above just to make sure I do not duplicate votes, thanks!
I thought I would give you all an update on the improvisationally free-form log cabin block style pieced quilt I’ve been working on since January 2020 – Seattle Scrappy. I last updated you on this piece in my March post – Update on Seattle Scrappy (though I think here and there in the Postscript section of later posts I provided a brief update…maybe).
The quilt began as a pile of scraps that my friend Dana let me play with when I attended a quilt retreat in Poulsbo, Washington in January 2020 (see posts Mini Quilt Retreat, January 2020 and A Jaunt About Poulsbo, WA). I pieced these scraps into free form log cabin blocks (no measuring, just “eye-balling” and trimming to make fit):
I made a lot of blocks and when I returned home I arranged them into this quilt top:
I decided to name the piece: Seattle Scrappy.
For the past 7 or so months, I’ve been hand stitching the quilt.
Update on “Seattle Scrappy”
In my mind I am doing something like Kantha hand stitching but actually what I am doing should be called “Drunken Kantha” (no I am not drinking while stitching – that could be disastrous since I am a “light-weight” when it comes to alcohol consumption, I would impale my finger…constantly…with the needle) as, well…it sort of looks…sloppy…
Let’s get this over with – let me show you the photos – I am nearly 1/3rd done on stitching this quilt which measures approximately 60 inches by 60 inches:
If you are gasping or just shaking your head at this point as you look at the nonuniform stitching, I have an artistic design “excuse” for the stitching. It is a weak excuse but here goes: As it frequently rains in Seattle, Washington, I wanted the stitching to capture the feeling of a rainstorm (with the wind blowing the rain sideways…).
There. That sounds quite reasonable – it was just my artistic design, not that I am a terrible Kantha-stitcherist! (smile).
But seriously, I am hopeful it will look acceptable once I get the whole thing stitched, and then trim off the excess batting and backing, do a whole lot of ironing, and bind the edges in some manner (either a traditional quilt binding or the art quilt technique of putting a “facing” on the back edges of the quilt).
I cannot believe how long it takes to hand quilt a lap sized quilt. I’ve hand quilted smaller pieces before (see post What’s on My Lap) and I found it very meditative. I think in the future I will reserve hand quilting only for smaller pieces, it was a bit too ambitious an undertaking (for a slopping hand quilter) to hand quilt Seattle Scrappy!
Till the next update, Seattle Scrappy will continue to sit on the edge of my chair in the living room, waiting for the next set of haphazard stitches!
Hopefully I did not visually traumatize you with images of my hand stitching.
If I have, I would like to undo the damage by referring you to look at the website of one of my extremely talented blogging buddies – Mariss the Quilter: Fabrications – who is a masterful Kantha stitcher. Check out her post On Hand Stitching to see some amazing Kantha stitching!
Someday…maybe…I can get my stitching to a “less scary point”. I am not aiming for her level of talent, just not to scare myself or others – ha! I did recently actually invest in a book on Kantha stitching. So perhaps there is hope…
I am so excited! My tremendously talented friend Wendy Hill has agreed to do a series of guest blog posts about a wonderful quilt project she’s been working on with children in her neighborhood during the quarantine/”COVID-times”. Over the past several months, she’s shared with me updates on this amazing project and I invited her to share with my tierneycreates blog readers. I hope the story of this project makes you smile as much as it made me smile.
Wendy Hill is a fiber artist and teacher who has written several art quilting books to include most recently Creative Quilt Challenges, cowritten with Pat Pease. She has a website Wendy Hill Quilt Artist and you can follow her current work and musings on Instagram @wendyquilter.
Quarantine Quilt Project: Life in the Time of Coronavirus
Part I: Once Upon A Time
This is the story of two neighbors who banded together when the state government ordered a lock down because of the first Global Pandemic in over 100 years.
The big wide world was suddenly narrowed down to one house each for the four young boys next door and for us, a retired couple.
We live on a quiet cul-de-sac of a street, in a woodsy area, and now our respective worlds are turned upside down.
“The Boys”, ages 2-8 years, explored the area around their house after finishing ‘school’.
With no fences and the houses close together, “The Boys” inevitably spilled over into our yard.
One day, it seemed, to them, a good idea to fill our birdbaths with dirt and make mud. “The Boys” cleaned up the mess and later dropped off an apology.
“Can you ever forgive us?” the note read.
There was nothing to forgive! “The Boys” were going stir crazy.
I sent an invitation to participate in “An Exchange”. I started with a drawing of a mouse, which looked a lot like a rat, and invited “The Boys” to add to the drawing. This drawing, plus two others, went back & forth until we had finished artworks.
Life during the pandemic meant one day blending into to the next, without much definition. But now, we waited to hear the patter of footsteps followed by the chime of the doorbell.
Likewise, I could hear “The Boys” squeal with delight when I rang their doorbell. It was exciting to open the door and see what The Boys left on the porch.
One day, I sent over a note which read “I have a bit of a crazy idea….”. I sent over a Big Bag of Fabric Scraps with instructions to fill up blank 8 1/2” by 11” pages with fabric pieces. Overlaps of fabric were okay but no gaps. I explained I’d sew the fabrics together to make “quilt blocks”.
If “The Boys” had fun, we could keep it up until we had enough to make something.
The mom replied “This sounds like a great idea!” and we were off.
The Boys had fun playing with color & texture, and they enjoyed seeing their fabric arrangements get transformed into blocks. As the number of blocks grew, they played with layouts on their floor. We agreed to make enough blocks for a quilt.
We were all building new pandemic memories and they would have a cuddly family quilt. Win-Win-Win!
Wendy’s Next Guest Blog Post: The Boys Make 61 Blocks!
I completed all five sections of the quilt top made from fabric scrap triangles and scrap squares to create nearly 600 half square triangles (HSTs) in the following sizes:
2 inch x 2 inch
2.5 inch x 2.5 inch
3.5 inch x 3.5 inch
4.5 inch x 4.5 inch
5.5 inch x 5.5 inch
It was inspired by the pattern All Sizes by Amanda Jean Nyberg from her book, No Scrap Left Behind.
Here it is on the ironing board after I pinned it for quilting:
And here is it currently being machine quilted on my sewing machine:
I decided to machine quilt it myself rather than send it out to be professional long-arm machine quilted. Slowly I am making progress, I try to work on a section each day.
(You might notice some curious brightly colored half-circle blocks on my design wall behind my sewing area. I’ll talk about those in a future post. They are blocks a quilting friend gave me when she decided not to finish a piece. More to come.)
And of course when I finish machine quilting All the Trimmings I will share another update.
I am going to do an Artist Statement for this piece since there is a story behind it. Here is a very rough draft of that statement:
It’s more than just a half square triangle quilt. I miss going to Quilting Retreats and hanging out with Quilting friends so I made this quilt, based on Amanda Jean Nyberg’s pattern “All Sizes”, from scraps collected from my quilting friends during 15 years of quilting retreats and “Sew Dates”. Most of the scraps are triangle trimmings from their block piecing. Hundreds of scrap triangles went into this quilt top!
A friend of mine recently said that she was looking forward to hearing my thoughts on the tragic events and strife currently going on in the United States in a blog post.
For me it is just too deeply personal and sad issue to discuss in this forum, so I am going to just focus my blog posts on my creative projects and other lighter topics.
I will however share with you that I am currently taking a break from watching or reading the news as this was wearing down my soul.
Recently came across this quote by Fred (Mister) Rogers that made me feel some peace and I will close out this post with this quote:
I found this images on Pinterest, which I shared in that post, of what the quilt looks like finished:
I decided to name my version of this quilt “All the Trimmings”since most of the scrap triangles were donated by other quilters from their block trimmings. Most of the triangles I am using in my version of this quilt were once headed to the landfill (and now they get to be in a quilt!).
The quilt consist of sections of 2 inch x 2 inch half square triangles (HSTs); 2.5″ x 2.4″ HSTs, 3.5″ x 3.5″ HSTs, 4.5″ x 4’5″ HSTs, and finally 5.5″ x 5.5″ HSTs.
HSTs are usually made by some quick method such as placing two squares of fabric together, making a line down the middle, sewing a 1/4 on each side of the line and then cutting apart two completed HSTs.
However I made most of the HSTs the manual hard way by sewing two scrap triangles together and then trimming the block to the required size. But I used up hundreds and hundreds (nearly all of them) of my scrap triangle collection.
I’ve completed three sections of the quilt: 2″x2″, 2.5″x2.5″ and 3.5″x3.5″ and they are up on my design wall.
I brought a couple hand work projects from my basket of hand work (see post Inside the Basket ) and had EVERY INTENTION of only working on my hand work projects.
My dear quilting friend Dana brought an extra sewing machine (one her her Berninas, and I love Berninas) and a BAG OF GRAY FABRIC SCRAPS for me to play with – oh no!
As you saw in the “From the Basket” post, I did work on my English Paper Piecing rosettes, but after a while I put them aside and STARTING PLAYING WITH THE GRAY SCRAPS! (I could not resist the temptation to play with fabric scraps)
Before you know it, as I shared on @tierneycreates on Instagram, I began creating freeform pieced/improvisationally pieced log cabin blocks (also known as “log jamming”):
And before I knew it, I had a pile of 138 blocks I made!
Once I got home, I could not wait to play with them and see what interesting pattern I could make with the dark gray and light gray framed blocks, So I decided to use the “Design Carpet”:
I began with creating a pattern with the dark gray framed blocks:
Then I worked on framing them with the light gray blocks:
I like the effect with the dark gray floating in the lighter gray blocks.
Since I took these photos, I’ve made additional progress and pulled out my sewing machine from the storage room (where you hide everything when staging a house for sale)!
Let me make a bit more progress on the piece and I will share in a future post!
Let me know if you think I can patent the concept of the “Design Carpet” and make millions on my late-night infomercial selling “Design Carpets” and quit my day job and just sew all day!
“You can own your own Design Carpet for 5 easy payments of $99.99!
But wait, there’s more:
Buy one Design Carpet and get a second one for only $99.99 plus shipping and handling.”
These two topics – Oh, Scrap, Part II and New “Studio” Tour, were going to be two different posts but I decided to combine them into one post since they are sort of tied together.
I’ve been getting settled into my new apartment in the greater Denver metro area and I guess I’ve completed my series of posts “Colorado Bound” as now I am in Colorado!
I’ve never lived alone in my entire life, so it has been a huge transition now living alone, but I am trying to embrace it and enjoy that I can set up my apartment however I desire.
Those of you who’ve followed my blog for a long time (some of you for over 5+ years) might remember what my craft/quilt studio area looked like in my former Central Oregon home (which by the way has sold and is now someone else’s home). It was in a small back bedroom in my three-bedroom home, but it worked for me.
Now living in a two-bedroom apartment my best choice for a studio area was to turn my second bedroom into a guest room/studio area. I will give a little tour of that new space in this post, but first I want to share a follow up to post from January 2018 – “Oh Scrap“.
Oh Scrap, Part II
It is always an ongoing challenge to find the best way to organize my…extensive? ridiculous? pathologically large? fabric scrap collection. I’ve experimented with various iterations of fabric scrap organization including organizing them by color into boxes like these:
Or just throwing them all together into a large bag:
As you can imagine, unless you just want to work with random scraps, the “all in one bag” idea did not work for me.
However as I was packing up for my move to Colorado, I came up with an idea: why not use this old shelf unit I had in my sun room in my former house (which easily disassembles for moving) with the baskets I used to store magazines in, to organize and easily access my fabric scraps?
And here is the unit in the guest bedroom/studio of my new apartment:
I have my fabric scraps organized by color or theme (i.e. I have a basket of light batik scraps and a basket of dark batik scraps, etc.).
Now for the rest of the room.
New “Studio” Tour
I put the word “studio” in quotes because I am using this term loosely. It’s not really a studio per se but a place to sew in my guest bedroom, where I’ve used the guest bedroom closets to store my fabric and crafting supplies.
I embraced the concept of “Whole House Crafting” (which I previously discussed in the June 2016 post Whole House Crafting) and put a larger cutting area on my large kitchen island and an ironing station in my master bedroom.
Mike the Miniature Schnauzer wanted to share that he approves of the guest room/studio space as it meets his coziness standards!
He also appreciates the schnauzer themed decor!
Speaking of coziness (or “cosiness” for my friends on the other side of the pond), I thought I would share a little follow up to the February 2019 post From “Orphan Blocks” to Pillows.
A couple of months ago I made these two little pillows from leftover blocks from a quilt I made many years ago:
Well Mike is now enjoying one of the pillows as his napping pillow!
Not sure he wanted to be disturbed but I just had to take a photo!
I’ve completed the Pillow Project – 5 pillows are made: 4 for my living room and one for my studio. Several of the pillows I began at the recent quilting retreat I attended (see post The Pillow Project).
If you are just joining us, this post is a follow up to these five posts (as well as various other older posts as I procrastinated through some of my projects):
Yikes Tierney, it sure takes you a lot of posts to stop talking about a project? Yes, true…and? (smile).
So here are the completed pillows.
Made from recycled 2.5 inch x 2.5 inch fabric scrap squares that were turned into half-square triangles (it took 196 half-square triangles to complete!), this pillow measures approximately 22 inches x 22 inches:
Living Room Pillows
These pillows measure appropriately 23 inches x 23 inches and were made from batik fabric scraps pieced into improvisational (“log jamming”) log cabin style blocks:
Here is what the back of the pillows looks like – made with recycled quilting fabric trimmed from a quilt after long-arm quilting:
We have two sofas in the living room that face each other – I usually hang out on one and Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) hangs out on the other.
My sofa with two of the cushions:
TTQH’s sofa with the other two cushions:
Yes, we have a crazy amount of color in our house (our house is not for the bold color faint-hearted!)
To close this post, here is a random gratuitous photo of a lovely purple iris from my walk yesterday:
I still have more stories to share from he annual May quilting retreat I attended with my Quilting Sisters in Vancouver, WA May 17 – 20, 2018. I just wanted to share the follow up on the whole pillow making saga 🙂
Bear with me as I tie “Pillow Popping with the Untethered Soul” together!
Pillow Popping (What’s on the Design Wall)
I am working on my next art quilt for a future Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) exhibit but I cannot share photos on social media at this time. Unfortunately I am stalled in the progression of the piece but I want to keep myself sewing so I’ve decided to make a pillow with my collection of scraps 2.5″ x 2.5″ fabric squares.
I made a zillion (it actually seemed like a “zillion”) half-square triangles (HSTs) and Terry the Quilting Husband was nice enough to cut them apart, press and trim them (now that is true love!).
I pulled out this book from my craft book collection: Pillow Pop: 25 Quick-Sew Projects to Brighten Your Space by Heather Bostic and began laying out the pillow design per one of the patterns – Crystallized(on page 82 if you have the book).
This display made me want to eventually make all the pillows in the book!
Here it is on my small design wall (the larger design wall in the hallway has the art quilt in progress I mentioned earlier):
The beauty of a truly “scrappy” piece is you can have all sort of crazy fabrics together and somehow it works (at least in my deluded mind)!
The Untethered Soul (Audiobooks)
I’ve been listening to a wonderful audiobook I borrowed from the library, The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations by Oprah Winfrey. The audiobook is read by the author and features curated sections of the actual interviews with inspirational thought leaders from Oprah’s TV series Super Soul Sunday.
I listened to this book while I laid out the pieced half-square triangles for the Crystallized pillow patter and it was very meditative.
To lay out this specific pattern where you get the effect of concentric diamonds of light and dark, I really had to quiet my mind and focus. Listening to this book was the perfect medium to do just that.
In the middle of my pillow-piecing-meditation, Oprah’s interview with Michael Singer, author of The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, played.
I’ve read this book twice a couple years ago and I’ve listened to the audiobook. I’ve also given it as a gift. I was surprised to learn that it is one of Oprah’s favorite books and that she has also given as a gift (to many more people than I have).
I would say it is one of those MUST READS, especially if you are on a path of self-insight and growth with how you interact with the world.
It was amazing to listen to the author Michael Singer discuss the book with Oprah as I continued my pillow-piecing-meditation.
I will close out this post with a couple quotes from this amazing book by Michael Singer:
“You have to understand that it is your attempt to get special experiences from life that makes you miss the actual experience of life.”
“The only permanent solution to your problems is to go inside and let go of the part of you that seems to have so many problems with reality.”
“Your inner growth is completely dependent upon the realization that the only way to find peace and contentment is to stop thinking about yourself.”
“Billions of things are going on in this world. You can think about it all you want, but life is still going to keep on happening.”
“Do not let anything that happens in life be important enough that you’re willing to close your heart over it.”
“It is truly a great cosmic paradox that one of the best teachers in all of life turns out to be death. No person or situation could ever teach you as much as death has to teach you. While someone could tell you that you are not your body, death shows you. While someone could remind you of the insignificance of the things that you cling to, death takes them all away in a second. While people can teach you that men and women of all races are equal and that there is no difference between the rich and the poor, death instantly makes us all the same.”
“That which is holding you down can become a powerful force that raises you up.”
I know you’ve been waiting…and here is the follow up to my 03/30/18 post Scrap Party! , where I had a special birthday celebration play-date with my fabric-scrap-loving quilting friend.
It started with this plastic bin of my fabric scraps:
Dumped onto my bed (the bed has a plastic sheet from packaging material covering it):
Before we dove into this delicious (or suspicious) pile of fabrics, first we needed to fortify ourselves:
After a few minutes of frolicking in the fabric scraps, my quilting friend pulled her initial stack and got to work on making improvisational blocks. As a challenge, in addition to access to my crazy fabric scrap collection, I assigned my friend these pieced block discards/trimmings to try and incorporate into her improvisational blocks:
During our fabric scrappy play day I thought I would also take the opportunity to practice paper-piecing (Not the fun “English Paper Piecing” type but the “flip and stitch” type of paper-piecing that I suspect is what you have to do all day in the “Underworld” if you are bad in life and go there after you die…um, I would like to choose the “fire & brimstone” instead please…).
I signed up to participate in the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show’s 2018 Wish Upon A Card Fundraiser & FabricChallengesponsored by Robert Kaufman Fabrics. I needed to make a 4′” x 6″ fabric postcard to donate to the fundraiser, incorporating the two feature fabrics provided by Robert Kaufman Fabrics.
In general I love Robert Kaufman fabrics, but I was completely underwhelmed by the fabric pieces they sent me to make the postcard:
Thank goodness my friend helped me pick out some coordinating fabric scraps for my postcard.
Here was my first (actually second, as the first was a legendary-paper-piecing-screw-up disaster) attempt at paper piecing a little house for the postcard:
Here is my second (okay actually third) attempt and the final version with my embellishments:
I mailed it off yesterday to Wish Upon a Card and I will not be offended if they say they “never got it in the mail” or they accidentally let it slip into the trash can – ha!
Now I bet you are curious: Did we make a dent in the pile of fabric scraps? Not really. Here is the tub of fabric scraps cleaned up from the bed and put back into the closet after my friend left:
It appears I have enough for another Fabric Scrap Party (or 200+ Scrap Parties)!
Recently a couple of my blogging buddies, Mary at ZippyQuiltsand Claire at knitNkwilt posted about starting projects from their fabric scrap piles and “fabric scrap wrangling” (organizing a crafter’s crazy scrap pile).
As fabric scraps are my secret (well..not so secret) obsession, I want to join the conversation!
Last time I posted about my fabric scrap organization, I shared this photo of my fabric scraps organized in windowed boxes by color:
Well this organization failed. Why? Because I was not using the scraps, I was just enjoying them as “decoration” in my studio!
I knew I needed to do something and rethought how I was create with scraps I realized it was too cumbersome to pull down individual boxes by color to access scraps (my studio is small and I could only pull down 1-2 boxes at a time without serious crowding!). So I did something crazy: I pulled all the scraps out of the boxes and put them into a bag:
Yes it is a giant bag! It measures 22″ in height and approximately 22″ in diameter…and it is packed (but not too tightly…just fairly tightly, ha!). I’ve named it “Giant-Bag-O-Scraps” and I love it!
In addition to moving the fabric scraps out of their boxes by color, I also thinned out my collection of “Challenge Bags” (see post Basket of Challenges) and moved many of the scraps from these bags into the Giant-Bag-O-Scraps. I narrowed by huge “Challenge Bag” collection down to this:
I did keep one type of fabric scraps separate from the others – batik scraps. They have their own organization into three baskets under my cutting table: 1) light and medium-light colors; 2) medium-dark to dark colors; and 3) thin strips:
The reason for this separation is I want to make some landscape quilts using batik strips. I recently bought a book on Landscape quilts that I will discuss in a future post (once I start an actual landscape quilt project).
During this entire “scrap wrangling” project I did pull out a lot of scraps to donate to our local Humane Society Thrift Store. The thrift store has a crafting section and packages of fabric scraps sell very quickly there (other weird people like me who are also obsessed I guess..). Check out my post from October 2016 – A “Humane” Way to Eliminate FabricScraps to see how I packed up a huge donation of fabric scraps during my purging in 2016. The packages of scraps shown in that post sold within a week at the thrift shop!
Although I am not seeking out any additional fabric scraps, currently I am embracing my fabric scrap obsession. I remind myself that my quilting studio area is “my playroom” and it is okay to go in there and just play with my scraps!
Happy MLK Day! When the political landscape feels challenging to me as a person of color and as a woman, I remember his words and I am re-inspired:
Perhaps I should not let you in on a little secret: Occasionally one of our beloved Central Oregon quilt shops has spectacular Scrap Bags for sale for $8. I promised a couple quilting friends I would not reveal which shop (so that everyone does not suddenly get in their car or jump on a plane to rush to Central Oregon to get some of our Scrap Bags!).
A couple weeks ago, while wandering about a certain Central Oregon quilt shop with quilting friends, I found this bag of scraps for sale:
I have plenty of fabric scraps (most are from my own quilt making or were donated by friends) and normally I do not buy these bags – but it was one of those deals not to be passed up!
The bag was jammed packed with coordinated scraps, apparently from the same fabric line:
Each scrap was folded/pressed in half. I was curious how wide and long the scraps would be once opened.
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) helped me unfold, press and organize the coordinate scrap collection. Here are the photos of MY HAUL from the $8 scrap bag:
TTQH was so patient as we sorted the scraps by color/pattern. They took up my entire cutting table and spilled onto my ironing board!
The average size scrap unfolded and pressed measured around 2.5″ x 5″:
What to do with these scraps? (By the way: Does anyone know what fabric line for these scraps? I am guessing Cotton + Steel or Tula Pink)
Well on my Kindle is a copy of Tula Pink’s 100 Modern Quilt Blocks:
I flipped through this book to get a feel for the dimensions of the pieces requires to complete the blocks for this sampler and in general they were within the dimensions of the scraps from my $8 bag. I just need a coordinating fabric to fill in when large pieces are needed.
Well I pulled out yardage of “Saffron” Peppered Cotton from my stash that I think will coordinate well with the palette of the scraps:
It could also serve as a very bold setting fabric for the blocks!
I have so many projects in queue, I am not ready to start this one (for example I still need to finish up my Farm Girl Vintage sampler!). So I sorted the scraps into color stacks and packaged up the scraps and put them away in my Project Queue!
It may be difficult to gauge by the photos but I think there are enough scraps to become a full sampler quilt with the Saffron Peppered Cotton fabric added to the pile! So it would be an $8 quilt (okay I am stretching this idea as I also paid for the Peppered Cotton but just play along, okay?)
Where did these scraps come from? My best guesses are they are either leftovers from a sampler quilt created for the quilt shop; or from cutting kits for the shop. I do not care where they came from, I am just so grateful for them!
(And thanks in advance if any of you recognize the fabric line and can share with the rest of us!)
Look at these adorable socks one of my Quilting Sisters gave me.
Hopefully the salty word in the socks does not offend anyone, if so then my sincere apologies.
This post is actually a continuation of my ongoing series “What’s on theDesign Wall”, featuring my latest project up on either the small design wall in my studio or the large design wall my hallway. It is also a follow up to my post Can We Talk About Table Runners? on the table runners I am working on.
I had the five (5), yes five (5) table runner tops that I finished on the large design wall in my hallways but I yesterday evening I started a new art quilt and took them down. Now they are all sitting on the ironing board waiting to be completed:
They all began as yardage of my collection of Ombre fabrics and my stash of pieced strips from brightly colored fabric scraps:
I have decided to quilt each one of them.
In the previous post on these table runners I discussed my challenge of how long to make them and several of you weighed in with ideas on both length and width.
The unfinished group of five table runner tops measure anyway from 17 – 19″ wide and 44″ – 53″ long. The dimensions will decrease after I quilt them and trimmed them down a bit to straighten their lines. So I think I will end up with table runners from 16″ x 42″ to 18″ x 52″ or something like that.
I just flowed with whatever length the design took me as I progressed!
I will reveal the runners in all their glory in a future post once I get some quilted!
The Natural Selection Convention
Whether you believe in Evolution, Intelligent Design, Creationism, or something else, you have likely heard the term coined by Charles Darwin – “Natural Selection”.
Dictionary.com defines it as “The process whereby organisms better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring”.
Well last week I came across on my walk what I might call a Bird Natural Selection Convention!
First I noticed at the corner of an alley I turned into on my walk, an adorable cat sitting on a fence. Well that cat wasn’t just sitting on the fence, he was curled around a set of bird feeders!
I stopped a greeted the cat who let me take his photo (I actually took like 10 different photos to get the right shot and the kitty just stared at me while I did it). Then I completed turning the corner and here is what I found two feet from the “bird-feeder-cat” – another kitty just hanging out on the same fence:
And then, one more foot down the fence, another kitty:
This is why I am calling this a Bird Natural Selection Convention – any bird that attempts to use the bird feeder will most likely not be having any more offspring!!!
I laughed so hard at the trio of kitties waiting for very hungry and not too bright birds!
What the Heck is This?!?!?!
Have you ever been to Costco? It is a magical place I try to stay away from (see my post BreakUp Letter to My Warehouse Club). However there was something we really needed at Costco (what Tierney, an 180 count jar of olives, triple pack?) and so we went.
While strolling the aisles (okay even if you go there for just one thing, it is mandatory that while you are in Costco you stroll the aisles), Terry and I came across this:
It looked like someone had skinned a schnauzer! We do not know if it was synthetic or some poor animal but it was a very unusual pillow. It was quite soft to the touch (you could pet it for hours) but then that added to sort of a creepy feeling I got from it.
Also – how the heck would you wash it if you got a stain on it? We had quite the laugh over it (like we did in September when they had the Christmas decorations already out in Costco) but we somehow controlled ourselves and did not buy it.
(Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer would have been quite distressed if she thought we were bringing home a skinned schnauzer pillow!)
I might ramble a bit in this post, bear with me. I am trying to figure out standard lengths for table runners. I know, I know, this is a shocking and controversial topic to take on in a blog post. If you can stay awake while reading this post, I will try not to bring up too many sensitive issues about table runners, ha!
Table Runners Running Around in My Mind
Why am I thinking about table runner lengths – have I simply run out of things to think about?
Let’s back up a moment…
Recently I sold the last of my tierneycreates table runners from when I had my tierneycreates Etsy shop, to a work colleague. She remembered the table runners I had offered in my shop and wanted one. I explained I only had one left and I had laundered it as I had used it on my table. She still wanted it.
So we worked out a deal, I mailed it to her, and here is a photo of it on her table:
The photo made me smile. I love the idea of something I made being useful in someone else’s home and making them smile. This is aligned with the tierneycreates tagline of “a fusion of textiles and smiles”.
Here is the original style of table runner (quilted) I made for my Etsy shop that I could not keep in stock:
Here is one in green ombre that is not quilted that sold out in my shop also:
The one in the photo above is does not look very exciting, so you will have to just trust me that it looks better in person (and the women who bought it gave it a 5-star review on Etsy).
So this leads us back to why I am thinking about table runners lengths – because I am thinking about making up a new batch of quilted table runners (and maybe selling them on Etsy); and I am not sure what length to make them!
Do I just make up a couple in different standard lengths?!?!?
What Length, Oh What Length?
I did a lot of “googling” to try and find a guide to standard table runner lengths. I found several pages which listed info on standard table runner sizes.
What I liked about this webpage was this statement:
“A table runner should be long enough to overhang the end of your table by approximately 6 to 10 inches on each end.”
Why did this statement appeal to me? Because it means there is no way to anticipate all the different table sizes potential customers will have and that I just need to decide one standard length I will offer as well as offer a custom table size option. I am going to aim around 42″ as my standard length.
I have spent the last couple of days working on creating the strata for my scrappy table runners from a bag of Kaffe Fassett-type of fabric scraps from my collection of Challenge Bags (see post Basket of Challenges ):
I welcome your thoughts on this oh so controversial topic – table runner lengths>
If you were going to make up table runners for unknown tables, what length would you make?
One of my miniature schnauzers, Mike, was trying to take a nap with the book I was reading and I thought it was a very sweet photo:
Mondays am I off from work so last night I decided to do a “Late Night Sewing Session”. I sent Terry the Quilting Husband, Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer, and her adopted brother Mike off to bed; put on a Nova documentary on YouTube; and settled in for a late night sewing marathon.
Here is what I started with from the “challenge bag” of shot cotton scraps:
So here was the first piece I had made the other day with the scraps, experimenting with foundation piecing:
And here are the improvisational pieces I made with the rest of the scraps last night during my Late Night Sew:
Here is all I have left from the “challenge bag”:
These are fairly small scraps, so those that were larger than 2″ x 2″ I put into general circulation, by color, in my fabric scrap collection. The rest (not very many) had to unfortunately head for the landfill…sigh…can’t save them all!
So what am I going to do with the little pillows I make? Well I am thinking about participating in my first Craft Fair in late Fall 2017. My employer has an annual Holiday Craft Fair in the Portland, Oregon office. I am thinking about taking my leftover items from my former tierneycreates Etsy shop and new items I have made and selling them at the craft fair. More to come on that in the future, still mulling it over.
I think Smart Cars/mini electric cars are adorable! I enjoyed looking at them when I was in Europe years ago and I have sighted several when visiting Portland, Oregon. Yesterday on our dog walk, we came across an adorable Smart Car in one of the neighborhoods next to ours. I was so cute I wanted to put it in my pocket – ha! (They are like toy cars!)
So I will close out this post with the photo of this darling eco-vehicle:
A series of words I never thought I would write in a blog post: “Foundation Paper Piecing”.
If you are not a quilter, foundation piecing is using pre-printed paper/specialty papers to sew precise shapes using a sort of “flip and stitch” method. Foundation piecing allows you to work with tiny pieces of fabric to get precise shapes.
Yes that sounds kind of complicated and I have avoided it for years for this reason. Of course I never thought I would attempted English Paper Piecing (EPP) but as you can see from my series of posts – Adventures in English Paper Piecing– I am addicted to it.
I had one previous experience with foundation piecing and I keep it in a tiny frame in my studio.
My extremely talented quilter sister-in-law Sue attempted in the early 2000s to teach me to foundation piece while visiting us when we lived in Seattle, WA.
We made a little sailboat block:
She was a very patient teacher and I keep the framed block as a special memory of our time together working on a project. However it is now 2017 and I am returning (like 15 years later?!??!) to trying foundation paper piecing again!
As a crafter, you learn through experimentation (sometimes it feels everything I work on is an experiment, ha!) and if you don’t push yourself to take risks you will not grow as a crafter. So experiment I did and here is the story.
Foundation Paper Piecing Experimentation
A couple blog posts ago (Basket of Challenges) I wrote about my “challenge bags” – collections of coordinate scraps given to me by other crafters. Since taking them out of closed storage containers and putting them into a large basket in my studio, I am inspired to open them up and do another “challenge” (see what I can make with them).
My friend and quilting-sister Dana made me the lovely bag for my yarn/portable knitting:
The picture does not do it justice. She reverse engineered a bag she saw on Pinterest (she is a crafting-goddess) to make this bag from a collection of shot cottons.
In addition to the bag, she also gave me her scraps from making the bag:
I had them of course sitting in a “challenge bag” and decided they would be perfect for my experimentation with foundation paper piecing.
Looking through my archives of patterns of “projects-I-am-really-going-to-make-someday”, I found this pattern with pre-printed pattern paper (sort of the texture of tissue paper but stronger, like used for clothing patterns):
You can tell how dated the pattern is – how many of us read small paperback books anymore (you could convert this pattern into a cute kindle cover though)? I think I bought it in the very early 2000s. The pattern comes with enough tissue foundation paper to make twenty-four 3″ blocks.
I began with cutting a bunch of the little foundation papers from the pattern; and ironing the scraps:
The next step was to watch several foundation piecing videos I found on YouTube. My favorite, and the one that really made things click in my mind, was Paper Piecing Made Easy Tutorialby the CraftyGemini.
I decided to work on the “Square on Square” pattern, so it was time to start the experiment. I am happy to report it worked, though I struggled a little with removing the paper from the back of the piece when I was done foundation piecing:
You can see just how small this little block is in this photo, imagine trying to traditionally piece (via sewing very tiny little pieces together) this block:
I bordered it with more of the scrap shot cottons from the challenge bag:
I plan to make a little pillow out of it, like the little pillows on this post – More Creating – More Art Pillows. I plan to hand quilt it and I am trying to decide between two quilting threads, but I am leaning towards the very light and thin DMC embroidery thread in brown:
Am I going to do another one (I do have 23 more blocks I can foundation piece with this pattern set)?
Not right now, I need to emotionally recover as honestly it was kind of stressful to make the tiny little block via foundation piecing. Also shot cotton might not have been the best fabric to work with for foundation piecing as it is thin and friable. I might make the rest of the blocks with batik scraps.
I think foundation piecing will be a great skill to have in my “quilting toolbelt” but for now I am happy to have made just one!
One the years I’ve grown to appreciate fabric scraps, especially coordinated fabrics scraps shared from other quilters’ projects.
I have gathered a collection of coordinated fabric scraps donated by quilting friends.
Each collection of scraps is organized in a plastic bag, which I call a “challenge bag“. Each bag is a challenge to create something from a fabric scrap collection otherwise destined for the trash.
I had these challenge bags stored in two storage containers:
I decided to move them into a large basket in my studio where I could see them all the time and be reminded of the fun challenges to work on:
While going through the challenge bags to move them from the storage containers to the open basket, I figured it was time to work on one of them.
My friend gave me a collection of brown batik scraps and partial fat quarters that she had started making little wallets out of – she also gave me the pattern and the templates she had cut. I think she thought I would just use the fabrics/scraps as part of a scrappy quilt. Instead I used nearly all the fabric/scraps she gave me to make a collection of little wallets:
I am looking forward in the future playing with another “challenge bag”. We’ll see what I make next…
Yesterday I hiked Pilot Butte (miniature mountain with 360 degree views of Central Oregon and surrounding region) and nearing the summit I took a photo of a controlled burn off in the distance. The US Department of Agriculture Forest Service has to do controlled burns in the Deschutes National Forest to control forest fires.
I used the zoom on my iPhone and although it is not the clearest photo it gives you a sense of the scope of the controlled burn:
If you are new to my blog and wanted to read more about my Pilot Butte adventures, check out this link: Pilot Butte Adventures.
For those of you who have followed me for a while – yes, on my hike yesterday, another Senior Citizen dusted me on Pilot Butte. At least the 80+ year old (maybe even 90) was kind enough to wish me a “good day” as he effortlessly walked around me on the hike back down the Butte!
As I shared in previous posts, a month or so ago I was in the midst of a creative block. I first picked up English Paper Piecing and then revisited traditional quilt piecing to get myself creating again.
Before I got to this point however, I was trying to figure out a way, short of forcing myself to sew something, that I could “get my creative energies flowing”. On a whim I decided to reorganize my fabric scraps.
I first shared my fabric scrap organization in the 01/01/2016 post Inside the Studio. My fabric scraps were organized by individual color – Red, Blue, Green, Orange, Cream, Black/Gray/Black & White, Brown, and Yellow. Each color had its own bucket.
Reorganizing my fabric scraps I decided to group colors together that sometimes I have trouble telling apart and to make it easier to work with by having less individual buckets.
As you can see by the photo above, the new groupings are:
Orange & Brown
Black, Gray, and Black & White
Red & Purple
Blue & Green (interestingly this was my largest group of scraps)
White, Cream and Yellow
While I was regrouping the scraps, I got to revisit my fabric scraps and I could feel creative energies start to percolate!
Interestingly, one of the books from my latest library stack (The Library (Mega) Stack) – Living the Creative Lifeby Rice Freeman-Zachary – addresses creative block. The author interviewed a group of artists for this book and their wisdom and experiences are peppered throughout this inspiring read.
One of the artists the author interviewed, Bean Gilsdorf, an art quilter out of Portland, Oregon (www.beangildorf.com), shares the following tip for dealing with creative block:
When it starts to stress me out that I’m not doing anything in my studio, I try to make myself do something to get my hands busy again. The ideas will come back eventually…Clean out your files, rearrange your paints, or clean everything so that when you’re ready, everything is in order. – Bean Gilsdorf
I read this book after I reorganized my scraps, but this book reinforced that I was headed in the right direction!
I am currently listening to a wonderful nonfiction audiobook – Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. In this book the authors discuss “Gravity Problems” and how we get mired in “Gravity Problems”.
What are “gravity problems”? They are problems that are not actionable to resolve.
The authors share a great example (paraphrased):
A friend asks you what is wrong. You reply “I am having a hard time in life, I just cannot make it up hills as easily as I want to due to this thing called gravity. If I just did not have gravity in my life pulling me down, I would be fine and I could run up any hill I want”.
The authors humorously share that unless you are able to change how the earth spins on its axis and its rotation around the sun, you are not going to be able to resolve your “gravity problem”.
Now perhaps the real problem is you are not at your ideal fitness level and/or you need to improve your cardiovascular health, so you can more easily climb up a hill. That is an actionable problem.
Here is a wonderful quote from the book that I will leave you to ponder:
If it’s not actionable, it’s not a problem. It’s a situation, a circumstance, a fact of life. It may be a drag (so to speak), but, like gravity, it’s not a problem that can be solved. – Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
Every so often I like to re-post something from the tierneycreates archives. Here is a post from October 2015. As an update to this post – it appears the fabrics scraps I bagged up for donation sold immediately at the Humane Society thrift shop. It seems my part of the country is infested with fabric scrap obsessed crafters!
If you have followed my blog for awhile, then you know about my addiction to fabric scraps. This addiction seems to be incompatible with my desire to downsize and minimize my possessions.
The fabric scrap addiction began innocently enough – friends would give me their fabric scraps at quilting retreats. I would go for a “sew day” at a fellow quilter’s house and leave with some of her fabric scraps. As if that was not enough, I began to actually BUY scraps.
Yes, BUY FABRIC SCRAPS, you read correctly. There is a wonderful quilt shop in Central Oregon called The Stitchin’ Post and occasionally they would sell scraps bags of their beautiful high-end quilting fabrics. I bought numerous bags from them.
Beautiful scraps or not, still I was buying fabric scraps.
In my post “Creative Inspiration: Organization???” I shared my new organization of my favorite fabric scraps by color. Although I had organized scraps by color I still had a GIANT box of remaining fabric scraps.
I knew I had to do something. I needed to let go of the fabric scraps I did not completely and absolutely love. However, I did not want to throw them away or try to convince another quilter to adopt them.
So I packaged them up into 30 bags and organized them into two baskets and DONATED them to our local Humane Society Thrift Store to sell! (How do I know that the Humane Society Thrift Store sells fabric scraps? Do you want to take a guess? Yes, because I have bought fabric scraps also from several thrift stores include the Humane Society Thrift Store in the past).
The Humane Society Thrift Store Volunteer accepting my donation seemed pleased that I had packaged them up for sale. I like to imagine if they sell each bag for a couple dollars or more each that could be over $90 – $150+ profit for a wonderful local animal shelter! Some of the bags are packaged by color and some are random – so many options for the Humane Society Thrift Shops’ customers!
When I buy fabric from quilt shops in the future, it will be actual whole fabric (fat quarters or yardage). I still have plenty of fabric scraps and my fabric scrap collection contains only scraps I truly love and plan to use…eventually.
I am still working through the lessons from the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo that I discussed in the post “The Space in Which We Live“.
I am feeling pleased as there is something on the design wall to talk about.
In my 09/23/2016 post, The Library Stack (and a little EPP), I mentioned that I was feeling a little stuck and had not done any creating lately (“tierneycreates” without the “creates” part…).
Well Monday I was feeling inspired and continued working on the piece I first shared in my post Make Do Quilt Challenge. Continuing my ongoing series: What’s on the Design Wall, I present where I am at on my piece, tentatively titled: Making-Do:
It’s not the best photo as I took it with low light. It is also still very much “in progress”.
I was feeling frustrated it at one point, not knowing where it was going. Then I remembered something one of my mentors, Jean Wells Keenan, said during one of her classes (paraphrased): – Even though you may not be happy with an art quilt and want to give up, you have to keep on pushing through and see where it takes you.
This is very true. The collaborative piece, Abandoned Water Structure, that was recently purchased by the City of Seattle (see post Seattle Public Utilities’ Portable Works Collection) was an art quilt that I actually gave up on and tossed aside. I later picked it back up and kept working on it starting with a late night marathon design and piecing session.
So I am hoping Making-Do turns out to be something interesting! Next time I share an update, I might even take a better photo…
Monday I went for another hike up Pilot Butte (see my Category “Pilot Butte Adventures” for previous posts on my adventures) and I started laughing as soon as I arrived at the start. They had this sign posted:
If you remember my post Monday, Again, my current time up Pilot Butte is not as good as the time for the record in the ages 95 & up category! So no I am not entering this year’s challenge…perhaps next year…
While walking up Pilot Butte, I took this panoramic photo of Bend Oregon and the surrounding area. If you are ever in Central Oregon, driving or hiking to the top of Pilot Butte for the 360 degree view of Central Oregon is a must!
I hope you do not mind that I frequently link to previous posts. I consider my blog an ongoing conversation.
My next post was going to be about the cool projects other quilters were working on at the retreat (tuffets!) I attended last weekend. However, I do not want to lose the momentum from the project discussed in my Thursday 08/11/16 post –What’s on the Design Wall (Need Your Help).
I so appreciate all the enthusiastic responses, votes, and ideas. I have to tell those of you who commented: You made a MESS of my studio (smile)!
You should have seen my little studio – various fabrics pulled out from my stash in many different colors, from your suggestions, strewn about everywhere. It was like a tornado of fabric options had blown through.
Reading all the comments was very fun – it was like you all were crammed into my tiny studio (where would I fit you all?!??!) and we were looking through my stash together and throwing around ideas (and fabric).
Of course, I would have to plan a snack and beverage for all my studio guests crammed into the tiny room…but where would I set out the plates and cups? (Maybe I could go scavenge some more fruit from my neighborhood to serve as snacks…but that is an upcoming post: Fruits of My Neighborhood Part III!)
This project began with a bag of colorful Batik scraps (that I embarrassinglyactually purchased…in a moment of weakness from the Stitchin’ Postquilt shop’s basket of scrap bags for sale..that shop is loaded with temptation!)
I turned many of those scraps into 24 6′ x 6″ blocks:
I presented four (4) options for the layout on the blocks and here are the votes by Option:
OPTION 1A – Float the blocks individually in a neutral background: 2 Votes
OPTION 1B – Group the blocks together and then float the whole grouping in a neutral background: 0 Votes
OPTION 2A – Float the blocks individually in a gray background: 4 Votes
OPTION 2B – Group the blocks together and then float the whole grouping in a gray background: 2 Votes
In addition to voting on options I presented, many of you in your comments suggested different options(I hope I captured the essence of all the comments to date, my apologies if I left a summary of your comment out below):
Group them together on a neutral background not trying to make them perfectly square, use Misty Fuse to attach them
Stitch the blocks together, use a pieced binding to enclose them, they speak so well on their own!
Group them together on the grey but make sure all blue sides are facing opposite of the grey fabric and placed up against another block rather than up against the grey fabric not allowing a blue side to but up against another blue.
Float each block individually, with a PURPLE or RED background- keep the color going! And maybe put a yellowsquare at each “intersection”
Golden brown would be nice also (to float blocks).
I agree with some others are dark brown, plum, dark red, I’d be inclined to try them on different ones and see which calls loudest.I start to wonder if it’s be even better on the dark brown.
I think a chocolate brown would be so cool.
I would make more blocks, group them without sashing or a border, and bind with a pieced binding (NOTE: I did make more blocks, see below!)
If you do want separation, don’t set them straight, in rows and columns. Use your separator in more random sizing — perhaps framing each one with the same fabric but in wonky widths. It might be easiest to pull off with a fabric that has some pattern so the seams between newly framed blocks disappear a bit.
If you really want to set them apart on a different background, what about looking at either a gold dupionior a deep purple dupioni?
(from a text to my phone, not posted to the blog) What came to mind was floating blocks in a round of neutral logs then a round of gray logs – maybe alternate with the reverse – round of gray first then neutral – then you float and have blocks side by side – and I’m thinking of a neutral acid yellow or lime greenor maybe an acid yellow orange – a crisp bright marigold color – all would look good with the blocks and gray.
Option Z: I love love love the blocks, but am partial to flashy colorsmounted on a white background. I also like sashing between the blocks because it makes each one pop.
While I like both versions of placing all the blocks together and placing with sashing, I would need to try the sashing version using a variety of sizes and different shades of either the light or the grey.
One fellow blogger, Melanie @ Catbird Quilt Studio was kind enough to e-mail me a photo of one of her lovely scrappy log cabin quilts, “Broken Pains” as an example of a layout she used:
In addition to showing you the scraps I started with, in the previous post I shared the pile of scraps I had left over from trimming the original set of blocks down to a 6″ x 6″ size:
In the evening on Friday and Saturday, I turned the trimmings from those scraps and some of the remaining scraps into 23 more 6″ x 6″ blocks:
I now have scraps left over from trimming the latest blocks and the remaining original scraps that started it all…and yes, I am going to make more blocks out of them! (Besides 47, 24 + 23, is an usual odd number of blocks. )
I tried out many of your color suggestions. To save time, I had a “pocket full of scrappy blocks” as I experimented. I never imagined walking around my house with a pocket full of quilt blocks!
Now, try and use your imagination as you look at my experiments. Although I tried to put strong lighting on the design wall, if you have been following my blog for a while, you know I am not the best photographer (if I tried to make photography a career I would be very hungry).
I provide two layouts on each test background fabric: 1) floated and 2) grouped together with a border.
More disclaimers (soon you will be frightened to even scroll down and look…): I did not iron the fabric I used as the test background and I randomly selected the blocks to go onto the test fabric. (If this were a real quilt layout, I would have given more thought to the block placement and order.)
Thank you so much for all the great ideas. I also appreciated all the layout and general design ideas.
My decision is as follows:
Make more blocks, trying to use up nearly all the remaining scraps.
Do not make a quilt with these blocks, instead make a SERIES of artsy table runners for my tierneycreates Etsy shop using various combinationsand layouts of these blocks and my favorites of the backgrounds above (red, marigold, gold, purple, dark brown, and lime/acid green).
Thanks for coming with me on this color and design adventure! I will update you all as I complete the table runners!